The Eiffel Tower


Constructed in 1889 for the World’s Fair, the Eiffel Tower stands at 324 meters tall and is located on the Champ du Mars in Paris.


The Eiffel Tower was the largest structure in the world when it was built. This title was only taken away in 1930 when the Chrysler building was constructed in New York City. However, with the addition of an antenna the tower now stands taller than the Chrysler building. The tower was meant to be a temporary structure to be taken down in 1909. However, the tower was kept due to its use as a radiotelegraph tower, which became useful during both world wars. 

The base of the structure forms a square, in which the four legs of the tower mark the points on a compass. This 10,100 tonne structure is marked with the names of all 72 engineers, scientists and mathematicians who worked on its construction. The tower is painted in three sections, from light on the top to dark on the bottom. It is painted every seven years, alternating in colour, using 60 tonnes of paint. The colour has changed over the years from Venetian red (workshop), to red-brown (1889), to ocher-brown (1892), to yellow-orange and yellow (1899), to yellow-brown (1907-1947), to brown-red (1954-1961), and since 1968 it has been painted ‘Eiffel Tower brown’ which resembles a brown-bronze colour. 

Did you know?:

It was an employee of the Eiffel et Compagnie who produced the original concept and development of the Eiffel Tower. Maurice Koechlin was a structural engineer and had worked with Eiffel on the Statue of Liberty (Eiffel had constructed the inner elements of the statue). Eiffel had rejected Koechlin’s design wanting it to be more elaborate. As a result, in 1889 when the structure was unveiled it consisted of 18,000 pieces of iron and 2.5 million rivets. 

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